30 August 2011

It's almost FOOTBALL time!

And there is all kinds of football goodness in blogland!
I haven't made much in the past just some mini cupcakes and some PB Pretzel Truffles

The Ducks first game is this Saturday and I haven't decided what to make yet!
If they were for me, I would make these

But hubby is not a fan of whoopie pies (crazy!)
I'm thinking I will take the easy route and make a batch of these
But instead of making circles, I will just dump it all on a sheet pan and cut them once
they are cooled with my mini football cookie cutter.

There are soo many cute things!

And if you are outta time, Little Debbie has these
Those would never fly here though!

There is more than just sweets too. These little cracker appetizer things are adorable

Football meatloaf?! So smart. I would probably make mini ones,
 they cook faster and who doesn't love mini stuff!

Celebrations.com has pretty much anything football you could imagine!

These Pigskins in Blankets are easy too!

I will probably make hubby's favorite finger food too. I can't find any pictures online of it,
and I have never taken a picture.. but I will!
It's 1 can of crescent rolls
cream cheese (softened)
pepperoni slices

First you unroll the crescent rolls, but you want to keep them in 2's or 4's and pinch the seems back together, then spread the square (or rectangle) with cream cheese, leaving a little edge without cream cheese.
cover cream cheese in pepperoni slices
roll it up tight with parchment paper or freezer paper
put it in the freezer to firm up (it cuts SO much easier that way)
repeat with rest of crescent rolls
then take the firmed rolls out
Cut into 1/4-1/2" slices
place on baking sheet and bake according to the package.
You can add olives too if you like them that way.
You don't really taste the cream cheese, I think it just helps bind and keeps them moist!
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29 August 2011

Little Lumberjack Treat Sneak!

I have a feeling these will be popular at Finn's party! Perfect combo of sweet and salty!
It was my first attempt so it's not as pretty as I want it to be but I have time to work with it, and a few VERY willing taste testers :)
Here is what I did,
took 1 of these, cut it in half ad then made my axe shape
then I used one of these and stuck it through the short end of the marshmallow
And finally, I just used some red melted Wilton Candy melts and a spoon and carefully kinda sloppily covered the marshmallow with it. Then I just let it dry!

I am a SUCKER for matching food to the party theme, even if it is a lot of work!
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Little Lumberjack Party Sneak!

Since this isn't a popular theme, finding party supplies has been a challenge, a good challenge! I like that I have no choice but to make what I need! For example, a pinata. I searched everything I could think of to find a pinata to go with this theme, only thing I found were palm tree's and owls, I was afraid the owls would push it a little too much onto the "woodland" theme, not that I don't love that theme (and hope our little girl will let me do one!) but for this it just wasn't what I was looking for.

So I started thinking of how I can build one, I know the whole balloon method but I was going for a specific shape, a LOG! Here is what I have done so far

started with an empty oatmeal container
Cut a few slices in it that go about half way around, hoping that will make sure it breaks a little easier!
Then I did 1 layer of tissue paper to cover as much of the bright colors as I could. Our store didn't have any streamers, so I just used white tissue paper cut into the right length. I used some white glue and a little water with a sponge brush. 
Once there was a base layer  I started crinkling up some strips and attaching them, but not making them smooth, I wanted them to resemble bark, so lots of ridges and not too straight!

And I added a little branch off the side.

I let it dry overnight, it was still pretty soft, not too crunchy, but I don't want it to be too hard for the kids so it's perfect!

Then I started painting it! And I realize now, I should have painted the strips ahead of time, it would have been easier, probably taken longer, but still easier! I'm just using some acrylic paint.
Now I am just waiting for it to dry. Then I will add some details, but you will have to wait to see that! And I have a zip tie style hanger waiting to be attached also!

On the ends I am painting them a lighter color and just using a marker for some woodgrain, well that is the plan anyway! And since one end just snaps on, I don't have to worry about how I am getting the goods in it!

I think I will have 1 more sneak peak tonight, that I am way excited about.. as long as nap time works out for me!
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Monthly Cleaning Schedule!

HOW did I not ever think of this?!
Such a clever idea and soo much better than my haphazard way of doing things!
I saw a couple examples on pinterest (of course), like this one

I had to alter mine, I usually have to deep clean a little more often than once a year for some of our things.. but I do like the idea of having a designated month to do the big rooms!  So although I do some stuff that people consider "deep" cleaning every week, some stuff can be done just 1 or 2 times a year. Here is what I came up with, going to add it to my HMB and make my Fall/Spring Cleaning a lot easier, they will probably need an overhaul too!

How do you all organize your deep cleaning?

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26 August 2011

Updated Back to School Ruler

Last year I made this. I liked it, but didn't love it. I made some changes this time when I pulled it out, and I have more changes still. But probably won't get to them before school starts this year.  It's better with all the inch marks.

I wanted to try and stain it a little so it wasn't as solid colored, but we have a busy weekend so it will have to wait for next year!

Just a few days until the Back to School Fairy comes to visit for the first time!
I, err she? he? is mostly ready.. just need to figure out what reminders/quotes for all 7 days!

Our little town is having their festival this weekend, so we have a busy weekend with a parade and other fun stuff. Hope you all have a great weekend!
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24 August 2011

Halloween Wreath

I know it's just a little early for Halloween stuff, but my girlfriend was hosting a crafting night and I didn't have anything else to work on. She is a total sweet pea, check her out HERE.

So I had one of those straw wreaths from a project that did not turn out, I used some black ribbon and hot glue to cover that, then some of the cheapy boas at Michaels, not the feather but the fluff and wrapped that around the parts that were still showing straw, just attaching with hot glue. Then I spent a couple weeks collecting the black feather boas with coupons, I think I used 3. Still just wrapping and securing with hot glue.

Once that was done I just used some fishing line, and my random collection of keys, empty pocket watch, and crystals and hung them from the top, I wish the fishing line was less visible, but it will work until I figure something else out.

I'm actually really liking it, and it doesn't scream Halloween, there is no orange, purple, pumpkins or ghosts and that is just the way I like my Halloween stuff!
And please forgive the horrible pictures today :)
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22 August 2011

Snack and Breakfast Prep

I went ahead and spent about 30 minutes today (Monday's are my usual kitchen day anyway) and put together a bin full of snacks for the pantry and a few for the fridge, once you see our fridge you will see I really need to make it to the grocery store :)

First I just picked up a couple bins at the store while I was there the other day, then just filled whatever snack size bags, and containers we had around here with the bulk stuff we had. Bulk snacks are so much less expensive than the individually packaged stuff! I am happy to spend 30 minutes or so a week and save some money!

Here are the non fridge snacks

These should last a week, easily. And we are pretty much out of fridge stuff,
so it's a little empty but it still works for now.

And normally I would cut the peach up, but I don't think they will eat it today, and I like them whole!
String cheese, yogurt, bananas and some cucumbers in there.
Now for breakfast stuff I didn't have a whole lot to work with right now so I just have our brown sugar and granola and a couple smaller spoons in a bowl I can grab when I get the other breakfast stuff out. I am going to try to find something that isn't glass to hold everything

When I make it to the store again, I will grab some more containers so I can get some frozen and fresh fruit ready for breakfasts, and split up the big thing of yogurt into kid size portions ahead of time.
I still need to make a few batches of pancakes to freeze, so I have a little head start for a couple of weeks.

I still feel like we have a huge to do list to get ready for the school year! Haircuts and that kind of stuff!
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18 August 2011

Back to School Organization

Feeling a little rushed now! Just over 2 weeks until the first day for our kiddos and I feel like our current routines are just NOT going to work! Hoping to have a schedule worked out and get a week in of practice before school really starts.

I have already been getting up an hour or so earlier than the kids, well most days anyway, so I have time to prep breakfast and get as much done before the day starts. If these kids wake up any earlier I might have to change it to a bedtime routine instead. 
We haven't really had a breakfast schedule like we do for dinner, but I think we might need to try one this year, and especially since I am not really a fan of cereal for the kids, not very often anyway.
I'm thinking
Mondays~Pancakes, fruit and sausage.. everyone needs Monday to be a good day!
Tuesdays~Oatmeal and stuff
Wednesday~Yogurt and fruit or granola
Thursdays~Waffles with peanut butter and fruit
Fridays~Cereal and fruit
Our kids LOVE this chocolate PB, and I like that it is better calorie and fat wise than the regular pb!

I am hoping I can make things easier and do most of the prep work ahead of time, like cutting all the fruit ahead of time and making the pancakes and freeze them. And keeping small things for the oatmeal so it's not getting everything out, just a little basket with little containers instead of the bag of brown sugar, because kids and bags of sugar do not mix in the morning!

Snacks could easily get out of control if I just let the kids have whatever they want. So I need to have stuff organized and easy for them to access (and easy for me to manage what they are getting)  I liked Real Simple Magazines idea about keeping all the snacks in one spot.
and already having stuff pre portioned out. Those single serving size snacks are so expensive when I could just put them in separate bags and save a bunch! I think giving the kids choices makes it easier for me and them, no fighting, no "I don't like that" problems.  We don't really do cookies or sweets here very often, but I don't want to restrict it so much that they don't know how to make good choices either. 
So I will probably make certain things a 1x a week treat, they can pick the
 day but I am not stocking those up everytime they are empty.
 I will work on snack organization and share what I come up with.. I'm pretty sure these will be involved
I like that they are re-usable and kid sized, and not breakable! And I am totally wishing I would have kept those plastic baby food containers now.

I plan on having a LOT of snacks ready so the kids can just pick out what they want in their lunchbox too and I will make the main part. I think they will do a better job of eating it if they pick it out.

I can tell already I will be adding another to do one day a week in my HMB!

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16 August 2011

On Vaca!

But as soon as we get home I'll have some posts!
It's not too early for Halloween crafts is it?!
And back to school schedules.
 3 weeks until it starts here, need some breakfast, lunchbox and snack plans!

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10 August 2011

Happy S'mores Day!

Happy S'mores Day!
Might have to make this  super easy 1 dish 5 minute S'mores bark tonight!

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08 August 2011

Back to School Fairy!

This is a whole new concept for me, I saw it first on another blog and fell in love with the idea!  Since I first saw it HERE I decided she probably wasn't the only one doing this super thing! So I looked around and found HERE they have certificates, balloons, pencils and all kinds of stuff! And HERE they also make a survival kit that is just too perfect! It contains

Toothpick: To remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.
Rubber band: To remind you to be flexible. Things might now always go the
way you want, but it can be worked out.
Band-aid: To remind you to heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else’s.
Eraser: To remind you everyone makes mistakes. That’s okay, we learn by our errors.
Candy Kisses: To remind you everyone needs a hug or a compliment every day.
Mint: To remind you that you are worth a mint to your family.
Bubble Gum: To remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.
Pencil: To remind you to list your blessings every day.

Love it!
And then I found another similar list
From what I can tell it seems like the Back to School Fairy comes to visit once, the nigh before school starts, and for many leaves some special stuff in kids backpacks. I am doing things a little different, I don't want to wait until the night before to get them excited! So we are doing it like this :

Instead of 1 day, I think the Back to School Fairy will come every night for a week or so (depending on what I find)  I think it's a good idea for kids to hear expectations from a fun source, other than their parents. So the fairy will be leaving little reminders everyday when she leaves the goods. Hanging up backpacks has always been a struggle for our oldest, as well as cleaning out his lunchbox, those will for sure be some reminders for him. Nothing like finding a nasty lunchbox Monday morning, eww!
For our daughter, she is starting Preschool this year, and has developed the habit of tattling.. I hope the little note from the fairy will remind her not to tattle! Which she is doing as I type this lol.. her brother looked at her coloring page, OH the drama of a 4 year old!

Our fairy is on a budget for the most part! Lots of things the kids need anyway, and stuff I picked up on clearance or $1. Girl stuff seems like it is way easier to find though. I did splurge and order a shirt for each of them for the first day of school, ones they asked for but weren't really a good deal. So far they will be getting a toothbrush, chap stick/lip gloss, a Lego mini figure ( those are a BIG deal around here!) Some pencils, eraser, cutesy treat and a shirt.  Maybe I hair bow for the girl and a new stack of flashcards (he loves the ones with different info, like the state ones) and then the shirts.   

We also have a little one who will not be going to school, now I don't know what could possibly be better than some alone time with me and the option of playing with ALL of big brother and sisters toys while they are gone, but if I find a good deal he might get a DVD, which is pretty special around here since we don't watch a lot of T.V.
or maybe a new kids music cd, he loves to dance and wiggle!
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01 August 2011

Back to School Decorations

I've got most of them out! And if you have to get your school supplies, do it soon while the deals are good! Boxes of crayons for .20! One of my favorites to decorate with, and SO inexpensive.
I found the pencil thermos with the tags still on it at a yard sale a few weeks ago for .50! I thought it was perfect!

Used my favorite little mini cake plate and the ruler art ( that didn't work like I wanted lol) I need to add some monogram to that!

Same ol' wreath, with apples, a huge eraser some black birds and mini wagons!

I like having a light fixture I can add fluff to.

 Pencils are also pretty inexpensive right now, I just filled a little vase and added an apple.
I still don't have too much stuff, I am loving the vintage book pages, and the phone was in my Grandma's garage, it shows lots of wear and a big crack, but I like it that much more knowing it's not perfect and has some history.

Dollar store letters in a jar and a huge apple with some flash cards.

 Flash Card garland I shared HERE.
More book pages.

That is all I have out so far, but I feel like I am missing something.. well something besides the big ruler, I need to add some inch marks and beat it up a little, it was too fresh last year.
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